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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

News for September 27, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich for hire

After yesterday's announcement that he would not be renewing his contract with Team Telekom for a 10th season, Jan Ullrich is now officially for hire. The 28 year old has not ridden for any other team during his career, but said that he wants a "new beginning...I want to have as much fun in cycling as I did three or four years ago."

Before his wage freeze by Telekom, Ullrich was reportedly earning close to 1.5 million euros per year. His two "mistakes" this year (he was fined 70 days salary for his driving transgression) have therefore been quite costly, to the tune of approximately 1 million euros. Changing teams isn't going to recoup that, as Telekom is one of the richest teams in the business. However given what happened this year it's unlikely that Telekom's offer to Ullrich for next season would be at the same level.

At this time of the year, it's not going to be easy for Ullrich to find a team with a lot of spare cash, as most negotiations for next year's contracts usually start in July. One team that has been mentioned a lot is CSC, directed by Bjarne Riis, who told DPA newsagency that "We want him and are negotiating with him, but before we have a new co sponsor nothing is 100 percent. I can't make a concrete offer."

Riis hopes to go to the World Championships in Zolder next month with a new co-sponsor so he can negotiate further. A German sponsor would be the obvious choice due to Ullrich's enormous popularity in Germany.

Team Coast is another team that has been negotiating with Ullrich. "We must determine what Ullrich's sporting expectations would be in our team," said manager Marcel Wüst to DPA. "The money is not the most important thing. It's to do with his comeback and the chances are good. I know that Lance Armstrong will ride at the highest level at the most for two more years."

Edita Rumsas freedom request rejected again

Edita Rumsas, the wife of Raimondas Rumsas, the third placed rider in the 2002 Tour de France, will remain in Bonneville prison after an appeals court in Chambery rejected a request for her release today. Edita has been held in prison since July 30 after a cache of drugs, some of which were illegal, was found in her car at the French border. She was charged with "administration, offering, transport, and assistance with the use of doping products in an organised manner."

The court in Chambery is still waiting for the results of various expert opinions and analyses, and the investigating magistrate has not yet looked at them as he is on holiday until September 30.

11 Spanish riders for the World's

Spanish team selector Francisco Antequera has named 11 of the 13 riders to contest the World Road Championships for Spain. They include defending champion Oscar Freire (Mapei), Pablo Lastras, Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (iBanesto.com), Toni Tauler, Jose Gutierrez (Kelme), Iban Mayo (Euskaltel), Joseba Beloki, Mikel Pradera and Rafael Diaz Justo (ONCE), Igor Astarloa (Saeco), and Luis Perez (Team Coast). The remaining two places will be chosen from Pedro Horrillo (Mapei), Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel), Oscar Sevilla (Kelme), Manuel Beltran (Team Coast), Rafael Casero (Jazztel), and Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Acqua e Sapone).

German team built around Zabel

The German Cycling Federation has announced the long team to contest the World Championships. Of the 18 riders, 12 will be chosen for the road race, while Gerolsteiner's Michael Rich and Uwe Peschel will contest the time trial. The road team is packed with sprinters and workers, with the main objective being to lead Erik Zabel out in a bunch sprint.

The 18 are as follows: Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag, Robert Bartko, Danilo Hondo, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klier, Jan Schaffrath, Stephan Schreck (Telekom), Bert Grabsch, Sven Teutenberg (Phonak), Jörg Jaksche (ONCE), Andre Korff, Raphael Schweda (Team Coast), Sebastian Lang, Olaf Pollack, Torsten Schmidt (Gerolsteiner), Enrico Poitschke (Wiesenhof), Jens Voigt (Crédit Agricole).

Estonian Team for the World Championship

Jaan Kirsipuu has been named as a possible starter in the Estonian team for the World Time Trial championships in two weeks, on the proviso that he doesn't finish Paris-Tours. The Ag2r rider will be one of two Estonians in the road race, along with Janek Tombak (Cofidis).

The full team

Elite men: Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) and Janek Tombak (Cofidis). Reserve: Andrus Aug (De Nardi) and Lauri Aus (Ag2r).

U23: Andri Lebedev and Tarmo Raudsepp.

Juniors: Risto Usin, Deniss Birjukov, Andrei Lapshin and Rene Mandre.

Courtesy of Jaan Martinson

McQuaids continue Irish tradition

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

A name synonymous with cycling since the 1940's is McQuaid.

Yet again it is to the forefront in the sport that has brought notoriety to the clan. Not one but two McQuaids are listed as representatives who will represent Ireland at the upcoming world cycling championships in Zolder, Belgium next month.

Andrew, the son of Pat, a member of the Union Cycliste Internationale management committee, is on the junior team. It is rather odd that Andrew took the long way around to get involved in the sport that his parents and grand parents were deeply committed to, and also represented their country on many occasions. Andrew played rugby for many years for Wesley College in Dublin and was highly regarded, but two years caught the bug, which has been part and parcel of the McQuaid clan for generations. Insiders are adamant that he was well on the way to getting recognition in that sphere.

Earlier in the year he made his debut in an Irish jersey and his performance in the M Donnelly Junior Tour in August marked him out as one to watch for the future. So fortunately, rugby's loss is cycling's gain. He is presently in Belgium under the guidance of Eugene Moriarty who is looking after members of Team Ireland who are based there. Unfortunately Eugene from Listowel in Kerry is not a happy camper at the moment as his beloved Kerry were rolled over last Sunday in the Bank Of Ireland All Ireland Football Final.

In the U-23's, Gary McQuaid, a cousin of Andrew made the team on the strength of his performance last week in Switzerland. His dad, Kieron an accomplished international competitor who represented his country at the Olympic games in Munich back in 1972 is involved in the bike industry.

Gary will partner Mark Scanlon in the championships. Mark is being touted at the moment as one of the favourites and his future looks very bright, as an inevitable professional contract is imminent.

Giro di Lombardia starts in Cantù

The final round of the World Cup this year is the Giro di Lombardia, which celebrates its 96th running on Saturday, October 19. The race of the falling leaves will start in Cantù, following an agreement between organisers RCS Sport and the community of Cantù. There is an option to extend the agreement for another two years.

No sponsor for Olympia's Tour

The Olympia's Tour is on the hunt for a new sponsor again, after current head sponsor Campina decided not to take up the option to continue in 2003. The organiser, Wim van Drunen, is looking for another 115,000 euros to ensure the continuation of the eight day stage race. He has given himself until next January to find a sponsor.

Bäckstedt stays with fakta

Sweden's Magnus Bäckstedt will stay with his current team of EDS-fakta, deciding against riding for BankGiroLoterij after reaching a preliminary agreement with them. BankGiroLoterij manager Arend Scheppink was hoping to use the big Swede as a lead out man for Rudi Kemna. On the other hand, BankGiroLoterij will definitely have the services of Rabobank's Matthé Pronk next season.

Farenhout to Axa-VvZ

29 year old Arthur Farenhout has signed a contract with the Axa-Vvz team for next season. Farenhout found himself without a team this year when Dermar Concorde folded due to financial problems after just three months.

TQ 2 Day preview

By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com

It may be almost season's end, but Irish female cyclists have their toughest home test of the year next weekend in the TQ Paper International Ladies Two Day event. A strong field has been confirmed for the two-day contest, with riders from the Dutch and English national squads amongst those travelling for next Saturday's opening 75 kilometre road race around North County Dublin.

Last year's victor Ester Van der Helm and her team-mate Sharon Van Essen will lead the first of two Dutch teams, the curiously titled Moving Ladies - Groenewoud, while the Allemaria Victrix selection and the German RG-Berlin Charlottenburg team complete the continental entries. English competitors will also be in attendance; the Letchworth, Wightlink, Surrey League and the national womens' Powerbar squads are all travelling.

The Irish national selection is comprised of Louise Moriarty, Lorraine Manning, Roisin Kennedy, Kate Rudd, Gilliam McDarby and either Tarja Owens or Susan O'Mara, depending on the availability of the former. In total the race organisers expect a field of 40 - 50 riders, a healthy turnout for this time of year.

*Entry forms should be returned immediately to Susan O'Mara, ph. 00 353 87 2360121. No entries accepted on the day.

Eyes on the Tour de France

Eyes on the Tour de France is an exhibition featuring a small selection of Graham Watson's best work over the past twenty years or more. This exhibition was launched at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin in July 1998 to critical acclaim and will be featured at the International Cycle Show 2002 (September 26-29) at the Business Design Centre, London.

Watson described the exhibition as follows: "Through my work I have met and photographed many great champions, as well as the men who devote their selfless teamwork so that champions can become and remain what they are".

"It is only through Tour de France that we can see just who those champions are - and how worthy are the sacrifices made in their favour. The Tour de France encompasses the very best our sport has to offer in terms of beauty, competition, athleticism and bravery and sometimes tragedy too. It is the one race that lifts the world's emotions and expectations each year - and that extracts the very best from the cyclists in order that their goals are achieved."

"I would like to think the Tour extracts the very best from me too. And so it is that Eyes on The Tour de France is my own, personal tribute to that great race, and to the cyclists who make it so great. Vive Le Tour!"

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)